The A-Z of Mentoring, Masterminding and Asking for Help. C is for… (Part 2)

C is for…


People find it hard enough to ask for help and be truly vulnerable. If they are to do so, and reveal enough of themselves to enable people to effectively support them, they need to be able to trust that what they share will remain confidential.

Mastermind groups should operate under another ‘C’, Chatham House Rule, otherwise loosely known as ‘what goes in Vegas stays in Vegas’! In fact all such exchanges should assume confidentiality unless stated otherwise.


I’m not a big fan of the ‘praise sandwich’, the approach whereby you couch constructive feedback with positivity. For me, insight which is harsh but fair is positive, there’s no need to sugar coat it. How can I grow if you’re not honest with me?

The best mentors and masterminders challenge each other and test the ideas discussed and actions suggested to ensure they will lead to the best outcome. Now THAT’S positive!

C is also for…


Don’t give up at the first hurdle. Advice doesn’t always work the first time and, in fact, it’s not always the right course of action. Stick with the programme.

Collaboration and Co-Creation

By bringing other people in to help solve your challenges, you may find yourself recognising opportunities to work together to develop new services and products.

Credibility and Competence

While it’s good to bring in the opinions of people who will provoke and challenge accepted thought, you need to know that the people advising you have the background and expertise to offer the right insights.


Advice can be a two-way exchange. It’s fine to engage in a conversation around the issues – dig around and really explore possibilities together.


Set aside assumption and existing beliefs. Accept premises that don’t fit your current worldview and truly explore to see whether there might be a new way.


Find your balance before asking for help if a challenge has knocked you. You need to be able to state your challenge calmly and be in the right emotional place when you receive feedback.


Many thanks to the multitudes of people who responded to my request for input. We received so many suggestions this month that even two instalments represent just half of the contributions!

Your Mentoring, Masterminding and Asking for Help ‘C’s came from…

Rhiannon Evans, Hilary Rowland, Dean Walters, Michael Jackson, Matt Pritchard, Jon Whitfield, Juliet Reynolds, Nicola Troubridge Lane, Lee Warren, Jackie Barrie, Claire Boyles, Ruth Phillips, Lesley Morrissey, Ian Steel, Katrina Sargeant, Clare Bailey, Renee Binyon, Neil Fairbrother, Paul Brown, Jacqui Byland, Guy Clapperton and Chantal Cornelius.